Archive for the ‘Mommy-hood’ Category

Autumn Terror   5 comments

Fall is here!!!

As much as fall creeps into Florida. Unfortunately we are deprived of the nicer aspects of fall… but still Starbucks is selling Pumpkin spice so it must be fall. Plus the grocery stores are selling those yummy cinnamon brooms so it smells like fall. If it sells and smells like fall I’ll call fall! Generally my favorite time of year.

I also know it is fall because I now need to go on my annual television boycott/remote control vigil. Not my favorite time of year.

Every year between mid September and the end of October I will be safely watching a warm fuzzy child appropriate (but adult program) or some innocuous day time television program and suddenly (and without warning) there are disturbing and scary images on my television.

I’m not sure if the rest of the country is inundated with commercials for Busch Gardens Hallowscream and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights but we sure are. At least one commercial out of every break seems to have a blood dripping clown, zombies, people with shattered faces grabbing unsuspecting victims and people running in terror. Oh and screaming… a lot of screaming.  They frighten me so I sure as heck don’t want my two year old to watch them.

They would have terrified me up until the age of 8, at least. Yeah sure, I may have been a sheltered child but I was a CHILD and I shouldn’t have to be exposed to that sort of thing.

These commercials used to irritate me during the fall season. I don’t like them. I don’t want to see them. But because they are commercials there seems to be no avoiding them. I also hate the giant billboards that are in the same vein and the signs everywhere… but that’s another issue.

However, now that I have a child they make me angry. Very angry.

It’s not fair that I have no control over them. This isn’t like “Well if you don’t like it change the channel”…. they pop up usually BEFORE you can change the channel. And besides the kids channels they are EVERYWHERE.

I try to limit her television viewing period and when she does watch TV it is usually a DVD, something from the DVR or on a kids channel so she is safe. But God forbid I want to watch something while she is playing in the room. Yesterday my grandmother was over and wanted to watch The Chew and The Doctors…. there was a scary commercial nearly every single break. Thank goodness LA was sleeping. But what if she hadn’t been?

And how do I avoid all those billboards….? Don’t drive down the road?

Ok, so I can avoid the billboards or hope/assume my child won’t see them as we zoom past… it is the commercials I really object to.

Don’t these things have ratings? Shouldn’t they be confined to evening television? After 8 at the very latest?

There are ratings for television programs but it seems any terrifying 60 second ad is allowed on at any time of the day. It’s not fair and it is something I dread every year. I think it’s very irresponsible of Busch Gardens and Universal to put them out to be shown during the day time at all. I think it’s more irresponsible for stations to air them at all times of the day. If they were on in the evening I personally would still hate them but I’m a grown up I can deal.  Children don’t have the same abilities to deal with scariness.

We are always talking in this country about loss of innocence and children growing up too fast. About desensitization and violence. Um, hello? We are showing commercials that some adults find disturbing when any child could see it on accident. And there is no way (short of not watching any channel other than Disney/Sprout/etc) to avoid them. If there is please tell me how?!

Right now LA is dealing with night terrors. I can’t help wondering in the back of my mind if it has started because of something she has seen on these commercials, signs, posters or statues that are put out in the fall. I know that they would have given me night mares when I was a child.

I don’t know what to do. Contact the stations? The parks themselves? Up until recently I thought I was the only one who dreaded this time of the year for any television watching… but apparently I’m not.

Look I get that Halloween is a fun time for a lot of people. And I may even be in the minority because while I love the imaginative dress up aspect of Halloween I hate the open grave, rotting faces, jump out and say “boo” aspect of the holiday. People love it… great. But I don’t want it forced on me and I really don’t want it thrust on my child. I think the commercials are disturbing enough as is but if you are safely watching “Dancing with the Starts” to suddenly see people being chased by zombies or pulled into open graves is not the program I signed on to watch. It’s not fair to us adults who are forced/tricked into seeing it but it’s absolutely irresponsible to have it on when children could see it. There should be a time limit or certain station so that parents can do what we can to shelter our children from it.

I’m honestly shocked that they haven’t been sued yet for causing nightmares or distress etc. This is such a litigious society and this actually seems like something that could cause children trauma or at least some unnecessary fear.

Usually I’m a shrug “Well just avoid it if you don’t like it” sort of person”… but I have no idea how to successfully avoid all of this. Every year it is absolutely everywhere. I truly hate it.

Every year I’m disappointed in both Busch Gardens and Universal Studios…. these are supposed to be family friendly places. I think it’s great/fine that they do this. Awesome… if it’s fun for you then have a great time. I object to how they advertise it.

So anyway… that is my fall pet peeve.

Thoughts?

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Posted October 4, 2012 by etainl in Culture, Life, Mommy-hood

On your Second birthday- A letter to my daughter   Leave a comment

To my sweet baby,

You are two!

I wonder how long I will be able to get away with calling you sweet baby. If you ask me to stop I promise I will…

….at least out loud…

…. or at least in front of friends.

We had quite a year! Last year I marveled how you went from a tiny, squirming bundle of love to a stiff, legged baby toddler beginning a great adventure. I thought I knew how subtlely time marches on… but this year… oh, this year taught me a thing or two about subtlety. You took your first steps shortly before your first birthday and by my birthday a few weeks later you were fully mobile. Every day you lost some of the stiffness in your walk, your gait became smoother and more confidant.  Now when you are excited you run! And you don’t just run… no boring run from here to there for you… you gleefully dance and run at the same time, your arms waving wildly in the air.

There is pure joy about your every movement! (You run so much like Phoebe the character from one of my favorite television shows I have to wonder if I taught it to you somehow in the womb). Of course Daddy says I have a funny run too so maybe you learned it from me… but you definitely have me beat!

Your joy is not just in running…. you are so full of happiness and sweetness! It just radiates off you.  You love life and those around you so much you glow… and you make others glow. You are so kind and giving with your beautiful energy you make me so proud of you. When we were at Disney you bravely walked up to a woman you didn’t even know and threw yourself in her lap and hugged her for a good five minutes.

This woman, this total stranger, laughed and cried confessing that she had been watching you and missing her own children. She said that she needed that hug so badly. How did you know? I stood there twisting my fingers, so proud of you for knowing and so scared that you were so trusting of a stranger.

And you love your friends. You cried in my arms when the bad guy took Elmo’s blanket when we watched Elmo in Grouchland calling “Mo! Mo!”…because he was upset, so were you. You love to visit your friends and shower them with kisses, whether they want them or not. And you take such good care of your “baby”… so sweet.

You are happy to take the hand of a stranger or a friend to show them a flower, Elmo, music, or anything else that makes you happy. You are a happy child and you just want to share it with the world. Out of all the things about you that amaze and delight me this is the biggest. Because to me this joy, that you so willingly share, is a glimpse I get of your beautiful soul. It’s who you are, fundamentally, and I couldn’t be prouder.

It also terrifies me because I know the world and I hope it never puts a damper on your light. I hope some stupid, ungrateful boy never uses it against you. I hope you keep your love of others but learn to protect yourself a bit because I will not always be able to stand by and stand guard you. Although, I am more than willing to follow you around and do so, but I strongly suspect you will not want that.

So no matter what the big world throws at you my little LA please always remember how good and kind and full of light and love that you are. And that’s who you are at your core and it’s a rare, beautiful thing to see. Daddy and I are both so proud of how happy and loving you are, we hope it is the love we give you reflected back… it is a lot of love by the way.

You are still so brave… this year has taught me that not only are you a ray of sunshine but a little monkey in training. You certainly like to keep me on my toes. You arrived the day after the midwife said you would most likely be late. You always liked to do the unexpected. Sure enough, just after Daddy and I gained confidence that we had the house appropriately baby proofed you went vertical!

Scaling couches, climbing tables and toys and any other option to get you higher in the air became your favorite pastime. And clever, you knew that if you climbed on something and called my name I would come rushing to you. So diabolical, you would wait until I was working and climb on something and proudly shout “Mama!”  with a look of pure mischief on your face. You knew that I would come to sweep you into my arms. And you were always right.

You are so amazing physically. Daddy and I have joked many times about how you are sure to make the gymnastic team of 2024!!! You have been going airborne in your jumps since you were 16 months and when you started taking gymnastics lessons you were swinging on the rings so long you even impressed your teacher. But I know I will tell the reporters how I knew you were in love with the sport when we were late for our first class because you were so busy hanging from the bar in the car that I couldn’t get you dressed!

Still not much of a talker yet but I enjoy getting to see little glimpses of how your mind works. You know over thirty signs so that we usually know what you want or think. At 15 months you told me that the planes in the sky were birds and just last week you rushed in to blow on the stove because I told you it was hot! I cannot wait until you are willing to tell me more about what you are thinking!

When I think back on this year I picture you flashing by me, pigtail flying and giggling maniacally. I remember you rolling over in your sleep, giving me kisses and then rolling back saying “mama” as you drifted off to sleep. I picture you curled up in your daddies arms as you make him hold you like a hammock to watch Elmo. I think of laughing with you as you made Elephant and animals noises and how you pretend to be a cat so you can eat your food from a bowl on the floor.

I’ll always remember how you curled against me and stroked my back (something I do for you) while we watched Tangled for the 437th time.

You are even more than what I listed here… artistic, compassionate, funny, unique, stubborn, clever… the list goes on. Everything I could have dreamed a daughter would be… and blessings I never would have expected.

I feel the same as last year about you growing up. It is a strange bittersweet journey to be a parent. I strive and reach every milestone with you and I am so happy for you, so proud, and yet a part of me mourns the loss that goes with the achievement. Every achievement is wonderful but means that another part of your babyhood or toddlerhood has passed…. and I’m not always ready. To be honest I still miss your toothless grin 😉

Part of me just wants to keep you this way forever and another part can’t wait to see what adventures are in store for you next. I do want to keep you my dancing, singing baby toddler and yet I’m so excited for you when you act like a big girl. Especially since a sweet, clever, kind big girl. Watching you put on your helmet to sit on your tricycle in our living room made me positively teary.

I feel so honored to be your mama. You keep your Daddy and me laughing every day and we both talk about how lucky we are to have you. It sounds trite to say, although it’s true, you reaffirm my belief in this world. You are so pure and so good and I am so proud that I had anything to do with you.

I love you so much baby girl…. I hope you always know how special you are.

Love-

Your Mama

PS…. thank you so much for my first flower gift… it is safely pressed in your baby book.

A lot of adventure…

What a smile….

Learning and loving…

What a sweet goofy girl you are…. I love you

Posted September 19, 2012 by etainl in Celebrations and Milestones, Mommy-hood

Lessons from a One Year Old – Year Two of Parenting   Leave a comment

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote about the 50 things I learned in my first year of parenting. Rereading it made me tear up a bit, in a good way. And I was surprised by how many of the lessons still apply for the second year 🙂

I actually wrote most of this list as things happened throughout the year. After reading last years list I have repeated myself! Totally unintentional. I guess that just makes it all the more true! (and I deleted some of the ones that were repeated… so I could get that magic 50 number. Wouldn’t want an uneven blog post list!)

So this year, in addition to writing about what we’ve learned as parents I wrote about what having a one year old in the house has taught me about life… You can learn a lot from a one year old!

We have learned as parents:

1. I have to say it, even though I said it last year, you will be amazed by how much you can love.

And just when you thought you couldn’t love any more….

….you do.

2. A two day runny nose for a 1 year old will turn into a deadly lieonthecouchalldayandsuffer week long cold for Daddy. (and sometimes mama too)

3. Be prepared for repetition. Be prepared for repetition. Be prepared for repeition.

If Wheels on the Buss was annoying for you/fun for her the first time…. just wait till you have heard it 50 times!

4.  Poop still happens, less frequently but more stink and stick!

5. Just when you think you think you’ve got a handle on this walking thing they go vertical… Or at least mine did. Little monkey!

6. You have to reevaluate your baby proofing when your toddler becomes a mountain goat and a hanging monkey.

7.It is  amazing how in the middle of the night you will find yourself in your childs room and not even remember getting there. And if you are like us and room shared for the first year, it is amazing how far away their bedroom seems when they begin to sleep in their own room. So very, very far away….. sniff…..

8. It’s incredible how excited you can be for the sound of pee hitting a toilet!!

9. They will make you laugh…

again and again….

….. and again…

and again….lol

10. Toddler’s are a lot less easy to change than they were as a baby. Which means when they have a poopy diaper it still gets ALL over!

11. If it was your child’s favorite food last week and you just purchased/prepared a lot of it…. they probably don’t like it anymore.

12. You will find yourself more excited than a child to go to Disney world (or theme park or zoo)…. only because you know what is coming (and they don’t!)!
And it will probably be the last time that you are more excited than they are!

13. Someone will say something like “Oh you have a little girl?” When she isn’t around. You will marvel at their perception until you realize your shirt is covered with flowery stickers.

This will also happen to your husband and his golf bag earning him the nickname Princess from his buddies.

14. If a crawler shows you just how dirty your floors are a walker shows you just how slow and old you’ve become!

15. Nothing in the world is sweeter than a full body, baby monkey, toddler hug (you know if you’ve had one of these… if you haven’t, you are missing out!)

16. It would be easier to try to put an octopus in a tuxedo than to fully change, wipe and dress a toddler who doesn’t cooperate.

17. Your dogs are no longer just dogs, they are pillows, pony substitutes and excellent toddler lunch clean up devices.

18. You brush your dogs hair to discover that the root of the matt is….. a sticker!

19. Tears and tantrums are an excellent way to reduce stress… This explains why they are so smiley immediately afterwards. It sometimes works for moms too 🙂

20.   Those things you said you’d never do. You’ll do at least one of them.

We are still holding pretty firm on the no junk food, but sadly have relaxed a bit on the TV rules, although from what I hear we are stricter than some 😉

21. Mama spit works.

22. Just when you think “I’ve got this” they will change it up on you.

23. You suddenly are sure that she will be a veterninarian or a doctor because she loves to play with a stethescope!

24. Sleeping through the night feels so good.

25.  Not sleeping through the night feels even worse when you have recently been reintroduced to sleep.

26. As they develop that amazing personality you will also run into some differences of opinion….

…And you learn what a tantrum is.

Oh did I mention tantrums already…. get used to them. They happen, more frequently than you’d like.

27. You learn that it doesn’t make you a horrible parent if you find some tantrums kinda funny.

28. You hate when they get hurt but you love how they immediately come to you for comfort.

29. You will marvel as you see their own unique personalitites develop. They are truly their own person… my little one has a “thing” for sunglasses 😉

Class……

…. and unique…

…and oh so cool 😉

30. You’ll want to swoop in and do things for them, but if you give them a minute they will do it…..

31. They will amaze you with what they can do. 🙂

32.  I know I said this last year but watching your husband bond with your child just makes you love him all the more, especially when he puts aside his dignity to do it…

and just for how he loves her…. and how she loves him…..

(And housework is still an aphrodisiac… in case you were wondering. Men take note!)

33. I can’t speak for little boys but little girls will start being little girls. LA now has her baby that she carries around and kisses. She wants to brush my hair, daddy’s hair and the dogs hair… she is just so very girl 😉

34. You will want to beat another child for taking a toy, hitting your child, or just being a “bad” kid.

35. You will cringe and want to crawl under a rock when your child takes a toy, hits or just generally is misunderstood 😉

36. If you planned a meal made up of things that they previously loved to eat and that has some nutritional value they will not touch it. Here is an actual example….

 btw… this is an after picture… notice how it is completely untouched.

and this is a bowl of apples she attacked, just a few bites each 😉

Oh and you will spend weeks trying to get them to try something (in my case chicken) only to have them crawl up on their Poppy’s lap and down his chicken curry of all things.

I swear to get her to eat more I should just leave food around on the floor… then she’d be sure to eat!

37. You will learn all of the characters on their favorite show. In our case we know all of the Sesame Street characters. Steve jokes that he now knows what a gerbicorn is, he never knew he would need that information.

38. You will find yourself thrilled when an episode of Sesame Street (insert your child’s favorite show) comes on that you have never seen before.

38 part two… you will also become very appreciative for all that Elmo (or other character) teaches your child. Here is LA wearing her helmet, she has to have it on because Elmo does…. Go Elmo as good role model!!!!

39. Your house has been hit by a TOYsunami! It’s amazing how one little person can make so much mess.

 We have about 497 balls in our house… we live with a ball addict 🙂

40. In your pre child life you got catchy songs from the radio stuck in your head. Now you will wake up singing “There are Three Primary Colors,” “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Potty Time”… or something else hip like that.

41. I did know I had OCD until puzzles entered my life. It drives me crazier than I can describe wanting to keep all the pieces together.

42. You will come to hate stuffed animals.

43. If you have just cleaned a room and/or put all the toys away understand that to a toddler this is the equivalent of waving a red flag before a bull. Try not to cry as they trash all of your hard work (or at least try to cry privately).

44. You may have spent big money on that gift you just got them but it is guaranteed they will prefer the Styrofoam it came in. One of LA’s favorite things at the moment is a rock she found at the park, she carries it around and kisses it. Baffling.

 This looks like a loving picture of the two of us…but is actually kissing a rock, her new best friend.

45. You will learn about creepy toys. Toddler toys start to sing in the middle of the night… for no good reason!
You will struggle between wanting to hire an exorcist because you are just THAT creeped out that Oscar the Grouch is asking if you want to play at 2 am and being seriously angry that it may have woken your toddler. And you are angry enough that if it is some malevolent force playing with your child’s toys it should really run and hide….

46. You learn what toddler problems really are. At the beginning of the year LA decided she had to have her pony to go to bed. One pony quickly became two…..

…. then we added baby….

…. another pony, a baby Elmo, a stuffed doggie, and now a musical baby Minnie Mouse. Other animals make the “list” from time to time. Remember when I said you will hate stuffed animals, yeah, well your child will not. They will develop problems concerning how to hold all of their precious babies in one go. Or even bigger crisis like how to carry them all!

Thank God we have not had to deal the tragedy that is losing a favorite friend. Knock wood!

47.  I cried watching the Olympics because they had those adorable/sappy commercials concerning how the parents supported their child to get there. And how to a parent they still look like a two year old standing up on the high board, track,etc….

For the record my LA is currently training for the Olympics 2024… or so she thinks. 🙂

48. You will appreciate your parents more… and love watching your family and friends love your child.

49. Having a child will teach you the true definition of pride, love, wonder and definitely joy.

50. You get to do fun things because you are with your kid! Steve and I love jumping on the trampoline and going to the bounce house place 😉

…. apparently I stink at sticking to 50… here are a few more….

51. They will develop a skill you don’t love. LA has the ability to ignore me (or anyone else) that rivals the most petulant teenager. I shudder to think how this skill will have developed in 10 years or so.

52. You won’t mind sharing your favorite foods (at least not as much!)

52. They will want help. When this involves helping put lotion on me (or her) I smile and laugh. When it involves helping me “sweep” or writing on my work pad I struggle to smile 🙂
…. although it is still pretty darn cute.

53. They will force you to think outside the box!!

54.  They will teach you a sense of wonder you didn’t know you had forgotten.

….and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t learn from your child. Just watching her grow up has taught me so much about life….

What my one year old taught me about life:

1. If you’re happy show it!

2. If it was exciting to do the first time…. do it 50 more times!

 This is LA washing her hands for the gazillion-th time in a day….the girl loves clean hands!

3. Even if you look or sound silly people will be happy if you try (example  when mama sings “lalala”  and LA sings “Wawawa” everyone is delighted, even if it’s not “right”)

4. Toddlers don’t hold grudges … Neither should we. They forgive.

5.  If mommy or daddy like it… I must have it.

6. It is just as exciting to see your good friends (the dogs, the fish, Imma, Poppy) today as it was yesterday…why not show it?

7.  Do everything at full speed and 100%!

8. It doesn’t have to be a real toy to be totally awesome! (i.e. water fountains, pens, boxes, water bottles, pans, etc)

9. Forget mistakes and just move on.

10. Nothing is better than snuggling with one of your favorite people.

11. Life is one big adventure… enjoy it!

Just like I said last year parenting is an amazing journey. I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I feel. Parenting is a rewarding experience for all of the joy and love you receive. It is terrifying because you want to protect them so very much. And it is bittersweet as you look forward to the future while missing the past. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

But how did we get from this…..

to this….(a year)….


To this little girl who breaks my heart with her beautiful heart and smile….

Happy birthday baby girl!

Family Traditions   4 comments

I wanted to write about some of our family’s unique traditions but in the meantime I was wondering what are YOUR family traditions?

I love a good tradition… I love the familiarity of knowing what will happen on Christmas Eve or my birthday evening. My family was big on traditions and I want to incorporate them into our family life as well as create our own.

Since I’m looking to create some of our own I’d love to steal hear what some of yours are. So here are some of the ones we had growing up so that you can steal enjoy hearing them.

– We did the advent calendar every Sunday leading up to Christmas and on Christmas Eve we would light the last candle and sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus.

– During the holiday season a little empty manager would appear and my brother and I were to put a piece of straw in the manager every time we did something kind or loving or that Jesus would approve of. It was a nice reminder that the season was about more than gifts and glitz. I remember my brother doing something nice for me and telling him excitedly, “You should go put a piece of straw in!” It was the honor system and not punitive, we were never told to take any out. On Christmas Eve we would put a little figure of baby Jesus in the manger after singing Happy Birthday and we’d also sing Away in a Manger. The kinder we were the softer his bed.

– Of course we left cookies and milk out for Santa and we always got a letter back from him the next day. We also left an apple or carrot for Rudolph 😉

-On Christmas Eve we were allowed to open ONE gift… that my mom picked. That was inevitably new pajamas or slipper or something adorable like that.

– Every year my grandfather or father would need to run to the store to get milk and then Santa would call to tell us he was on his way and to hurry to bed. I always felt so bad that Dad or Poppop missed that call …. 😉

– My father would always read Twas the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve… to this day I have the entire poem memorized.

— We had Santa “peepers” owl shaped binoculars and right before bed we would go out and look for Santa’s sleigh and/or Rudolph’s nose. Inevitably one of us would “spot” him and this would be my parents queue to rush us off to bed before he arrived.

-We had to have our letter for Santa that said what we wanted for Christmas ready by the weekend after Thanksgiving, so he had time to make everything. We’d lay it in the fireplace before bed and in the morning it would be gone!!!!

-Christmas morning we were not allowed to get up until the sun was up, this rule was implemented as my brother and I got up progressively earlier. But we were allowed to hang out in each others room…. I would always keep the gifts I got for him in my room so when he’d sneak in I’d have something for him.

-My mom would freeze maraschino cherries and sprite into ice cubes on Christmas and Easter… some were red and some were green. It was the most awesome thing ever!

– Of course we dyed our Easter eggs….can’t think of anything beyond the usual for Easter. We were allowed a few minutes to check out our baskets before church and allowed to hunt for an egg or two for breakfast. When we got home we got to do our Easter Egg hunt for the real eggs. After lunch we did a Nana and Poppop search for the little plastic eggs full of goodies.

-When we were sick we had a special sick blanket and sick cup. Mom would make us a bed on the couch or on the floor of her room and would always make whatever we wanted for lunch.

– On our birthdays we always got to pick the restaurant, within reason, that we went to for family dinner. This became a HUGE decision that resulted from weeks of conferencing together… especially because my brothers birthday and mine are 10 days apart.

– We got to select ANYTHING we wanted our birthday cake to be and mom would attempt it. This resulted in my brother issuing some pretty crazy challenges for her.

-On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day we either made breakfast in bed for them (and they pretended it was good) or we took them to McDonalds (which they pretended was good as well).

-On Mother’s Day my mother and Nana got an orchid corsage to wear. All the ladies got them for Easter.

– We always took our photo in the same spot in front of the fireplace for the first day of school and any other big event.

– If we saw my mom or dad shopping for a gift and asked what they were getting they would tell us “Kitten britches” or “Kitten mittens”… that when when an overexcited 4 year old would blurt out “Daddy I know what Mommy got you for your birthday!” It was funny rather than ruining the surprise.

-On random days my mom or dad would show up to school to eat lunch with us, or take us to lunch. Either way it made me feel special.

-On random days my mom would leave a card or note in my lunch box 🙂

-On New Years Eve my parents would make pillow beds on the floor of the living room for us and we’d watch family movies of the previous year until it was time to watch Dick Clark… if we didn’t make it to midnight and fell asleep… no biggie, we were already in “bed.”

-Tuesday night was No TV night and Family Game Night.

-In the summer we tried to have picnics once a week.

-On vacations my brother and I would take turns buying each other gifts or souvenirs. We rarely bought ourselves anything but always got what we wanted 😉

-My mom always made our Halloween costumes…

(This was both my brothers favorite and my favorite costumes ever… Tiger and the Princess)

Oh man… I am just sure I am forgetting some things….
Oh well, my mother reads my blog so I’m sure she’ll remind me.

There are also some things I remember my parents, particularly my Dad, always saying…. not quite traditions but they stuck.

-When we’d leave for vacation, finally, after finding the last bag, remembering to turn out the lights etc he’d always say “We’re off like a herd of turtles”

-When driving he’d tell us whoever saw a cow first owed him $10…. If you’ve ever driven through Florida you realize this was a clever way to keep us hunched over and quiet with our eyes covered for a while. We never did pay him….

-Eventually as we got older and cleverer we would say they weren’t cows they were short necked giraffes or long legged pigs or what not.

-When we got in the mountain and inevitably saw sings that say “Watch for Falling Rock” my father would tell us the story of Princess Falling Rock. How she ran way from home to be with her one true love and her father was still looking for her to this day, thus the signs.

Did it work?   Leave a comment

I am sure you all have been anxiously awaiting my post concerning the week long leg slimming exercises. Did they work? Did I keep up with them? Am I still walking? That sort of thing….

The answers in summary are maybe, sorta and yes!

I’m delayed because we had our most awesome birthday weekend for Steve, followed by the Fourth of July….. lots of Daddy time, trip to Orlando and other coolness. I may do a post about it since it was pretty much the “cool thing” for LA and me for the week unless I do something else in the next few days.

So the exercises…. I definitely felt that the first two were the most effective of the bunch. There were a few in there that didn’t make me “feel the burn” or anything. I was very concerned that I would be sore doing them daily but there was only minimal soreness.

I really tried to keep up with them daily.

Thursday I rocked!

Friday I did all but one set and I did them right before having some girls over for Book Club…. dedication.

Saturday I woke up battling a migraine so I did all of them except the floor exercises but I felt like they put a strain on my neck/back a bit.

Sunday…. I did them all!

Monday…. I had a super productive morning so the universe had to compensate and send another migraine my way so I didn’t do anything 😦

Tuesday …. I did only the standing ones, because I was afraid of the migraine returning.

Wednesday I did them all.

Thursday…. I did nothing.

Friday (I added an extra day in there because I was a slacker) and I did the standing ones again.

I really felt like the standing ones did the most for me…. but also for some reasons the floor work ones made me feel like they were inviting pain. This is nothing new. I have read in every migraine book and pamphlet that exercising is supposed to help migraines. Some even say if you feel one coming on to go for a walk. But, besides the occasional walk, it seems to be the opposite for me. I don’t know if it’s my body’s self defense mechanism as it fights exercise or if I’m totally doing it wrong. But it’s true… not an excuse. And it is especially true of anything involving “floor work”…. this is explains why I have less than spectacular abs. Or at least why I’m offering up that I have less than spectacular abs.
Also LA tends to think I’ma jungle gym whenever I lay on the floor to exercise.

I did pretty good watching what I ate. Resisted the ice cream and had fruit instead.

Results……

My weight stayed the same… went up a pound or two actually (or could be that I’d just eaten, I don’t remember).

When I started I measured my thighs and they were 20 inches and 22 inches in different locations. When I remeasured after a week they were 21 inches in both locations. So I’m not sure if this counts as a success….. hmmmmmmmm

BUT WAIT!!!! Then I read a blurb in Parents Magazine that says:

Danish scientists found that women with skinny thighs had a higher risk of heart disease and premature death than those with meatier ones.

At this point I’m thinking… ok so there is a benefit to my chunky thighs! Yes!!!!
I continue reading….

A circumference of 24.4 inches was most protective.

Not gonna lie… my first thought was “Yes! Danish scientists think I have slender thighs.”

I reveled in that for a minute before I realized, “Danish scientists also think I’m going to die prematurely! Yikes!”

But in all seriousness I am still on a somewhat fitness kick. I’ve looked into Paleo diet, but I’m not sure I can forego bread. I am working on a new exercise plan and I will be posting about it here too…..
Still need nagging! 😉

Etsy Shop   Leave a comment

This was a rough week for our family. My mother got some bad news and we got some bad news… all around just rough. The nearly constant rain didn’t help alleviate the pervasive sense of doom and gloom.

I’ll be ready to talk about my bad news more, I probably need to but not yet.

What I did for me this week is to put aside the time to work on my Etsy shop and Facebook shop pages more! It’s been on my to do list forever!

 

So, without further ado I give you my Facebook Page for Mama Loves. I have the basic set up looking good. I have a few things listed in the wine category and the toddler clothing section. I’ve started asking people to “Like” me… it’s a start!

I also have my Etsy shop up for Mama Loves set up, but just for the wine glasses.  Since my sizing, cloth selection and pricing is still being finalized I didn’t want to list those items just yet. But they are coming!

While writing this I just realize I never did a post about my new sewing hobby. I just wanted to at least try to make a dress or two for LA. But I had lots of success and really enjoyed the process. I also enjoyed the control of choosing the fabric and the exact style I wanted. Not to mention the fact that a few people asked me to make things for them. One friend even paid me to make a replica of a tutu skirt that I gave to LA. Another friend requested something I had made as a gift for her son…. and it was fun!

I really enjoyed making the wine glasses so I was thinking I’d just open up a shop selling those. Since they are custom made I wouldn’t have to have inventory on hand. But so many people encouraged me to at least put a few toddler outfits or accessories together so I figured “why not?”

The only problem I had was that the shop name MamaLoves was already taken. But it wasn’t taken by someone using it, they have changed their name. However, Etsy sets it up so any original shop name is marked as “taken” so no one can steal former clients. It looks like the original user has not used the name in a long, looooooong time so I wrote Etsy. They said no.

So I can still be Mama Loves but my web address right now reads http://www.etsy.com/shop/etainbutterfly. I cannot make it say MamaLoves there. I can make it say “AllMamaLoves, ” “MamaLovesBoutique” or “AngelicArt.” The last was originally going to be the name of the shop when I was planning on doing only glassware, no clothing.

Which one do you all like?

I am also really hopeful that I’ll get the time this weekend to try a new project of something I’d like to sell in the shops! I am excited about it. I’m also excited about the fact that I did a search on Etsy and there are not really any wine glasses quite like the ones I make. So, fingers crossed, it will go well!

Let me know of anything that you think I should offer in the shop that aren’t there yet. I have a plan to have little boy ties with matching shirt and hair bow for girls, or maybe a skirt and hair bow. I think the tutu I made is going to make the cut and up cycled shirts from Daddy’s old work shirts 🙂 I also thought I could do a matching toddler dress/top and Mama skirt like I did for us below.

Below I’ll post some pictures of things I have made for LA and you can let me know if anything strikes you as uniquely sell-able.

 

Princess Dress… First thing that I made for LA

Old Fashioned Dress- My second project

Up Cycled Dress

Up cycled dress progress

Tutu skirt

Tutu skirt and matching top

Matching toddler dress and Mama skirt

Little boy and baby ties

Oh! And even though it was a sad week I did not forget LA’s project. I just can’t show you what we did until after Father’s Day 😉

 

 

Gloop!!!   3 comments

When I was pregnant I signed up for nearly every pregnancy email update I could find. Every week I’d get like 7 “You are ____ weeks!” emails with fun facts about LA’s development and my personal countdown to motherhood.

I would forward the good ones on to Steve and my mom… it was fun. A little overboard in quantity but it made me smile.

I had no idea they would never end…. LA will be 18 years old and I have a feeling What to Expect When You’re Expecting will send me an email saying “Congratulations your baby is now 864 weeks old. This month they should be graduating and hopefully making plans for their future. You may have noticed a slight attitude change. Be prepared for some rebellion and possibly tears.”

I did try to unsubscribe myself to some but there are some persistent ones… luckily they are the good ones and they seem to have some good tips and games for toddlers. So I don’t mind them coming every week lol

Baby center is one that still appears but they reduced themselves down to monthly rather than weekly. When they come they also link to cool games or activities that are developmentally appropriate. Some have been cool and some have been lame.

When the one for gloop came back at her 19 month “birthday” I was super excited. It seemed like something we just HAD to try. We kept making plans to do it one evening but something always came up. So I figured it was a good place to start in my new resolution.

So I figured that since it was Saturday I better get hopping. Steve thought it sounded fun too so we had been holding off on doing it until we could be together as a family. Which works for you all because now you have pictures, would not have happened otherwise.

Let me just say first of all that you all (Even if your children are teeny babies, even if they are still “on the inside”, even if they exist only in your imagination) YOU MUST TRY THIS! It is awesome!

Also cheap… all you need is cornstarch, water, a big bowl and spoons. If you want to get all fancy like I did some food coloring is good.

Before we could even get started LA was quite happy playing with the giant spoon and water.

So all you do is mix a cup or two of cornstarch with water. There are no real measurements so you can’t mess up. LA enjoyed helping me mix.

This can get really messy (although it’s super easy to clean up) so I’d either head outside or put down newspapers for inside play.

The directions say that gloop is neither a solid nor a liquid, it has the properties of both and will “mesmerize your toddler- and probably you, too!”

So I stirred and added a bit more corn starch and then water. Just a tip, start with less water than you think you need… it will look like it’s not enough and then suddenly look like it’s more than you need.

(see messy)

At one point I thought, it’s kinda hard to mix I’ll just use my hands. That is when I discovered what gloop is… it is difficult to describe.

If you try to press down on it or grab it you will find it’s nearly solid and you can drum on it, tap it, or mold it. But as soon as you stop applying any pressure it reverts to liquid.

I was fascinated as you can see here…. LA was still interested in stirring.

If you lift it up high it will dribble out like liquid but you can see in this picture (sorta) how some of it is hanging more like a stalagmite from hands as it is still partially solid from my touch.

LA still stirring.

Steve was laughing at me by this point because I just found it so fascinating. The texture is nearly beyond description because it’s so unlike anything I’ve ever felt. And LA poked it with her spoon.

You can see texture here a bit more. LA started to be interested in this stuff finally.

Stuck her hand in a bit… you can see on her face she’s not quite sure. And then….


We got this reaction….lol

And she started trying to clean her hands. I probably should have guessed… if she had her way she’d wash her hands 15 times in a row. She generally doesn’t mind dirt (and trust me she gets dirty) but sticky things don’t seem to excite her.

And we moved back to the spoon.

So since she was uninterested I started experimenting more.

You can roll it into a solid, hard ball…

and when I let go…

I didn’t want to be selfish and hog the gloop so I let Steve have a go. You can see how interested LA is at this point…

You can really see the texture here…

You can kinda see how when he runs his hands over it then it becomes hard…..

LA still more interested in spoon and water.

Even though it certainly wasn’t fascinating to LA (yet) she had fun mixing it and playing in the water.  We all played with it as a family and had a good time. She was close to naptime so maybe it was just too much… or she wasn’t in the mood. Who knows but it was well worth it. And as craft/activity goes it was super cheap. We didn’t even use up our whole container of cornstarch and they are only a couple bucks.

PLUS… mom bonus… it was SO easy to clean up. We just dumped water in and it reverted to water. Our hands rinsed clean without even soap.

I would definitely recommend you try this… even if your kids don’t love it (and honestly I think most kids would… especially older ones) you will  love it. And it’s cheap and easy to clean up… win win win

So yup… here she has totally abandoned any pretense of playing with gloop. She asked her Daddy to turn on the bubbles and has headed to the sand box. I’m still playing with it… don’t judge me until you’ve tried it. It is amazing!
Btw… it says it’s good for 19 months but older and younger kids would enjoy too. LA is 21 months old now. Also says that it’s good for fine motor skills and language.